Colourful Summer Fete Wedding: Sam & Sarah

Esme Mai

December 20, 2014


Sam and Sarah were married at Hornington Manor Farm, York in August. They hired their venue for five whole days so they could have a week-long celebration with their loved ones. “From the moment Sam asked me to marry her we were adamant that we wanted a really personalised wedding which was about us as a couple”, began Sarah. “We wanted to do all the food, drink and decoration ourselves and to involve our closest family and friends in all of the preparations. We wanted our guests to feel like they were coming to our house for our wedding which we were able to do as we rented the house for five days. A summer fete theme emerged as we planned lots of activities for people to do during the day.”


“We had the legal ceremony on the Thursday before and pondered for ages about what we were going to wear”, she continued. “On a dog walk one day with Sarah’s parents we decided on a Hawaiian theme. So off 10 of us went to the registry office (myself and Sam in an old black beetle) dressed in Hawaiian shirts. When we returned to Hornington Manor we had a big Hawaiian themed BBQ party where all of our guests dressed up too!”


“The best bit of the wedding was our wonderful ceremony which was conducted by humanist Sharon Kent. Sharon was amazing from the first time we met her, really put us at ease and wrote us the most beautiful ceremony about us and our evolving relationship. We both wrote our own vows to each other making our big day even more special. Even the commitment part of the ceremony was personalised: ‘I promise to agree with you sometimes, disagree with you often but cuddle you always’.”


“We didn’t want to spend lots of our budget on flowers so we sourced most of them from the local flower market in Leeds”, they explained. “As both of Sarah’s parents gave her away she didn’t need a bouquet to hold! Sam’s grandparents spent the last year sourcing vases of all different sizes, shapes and colours from car boots. We did splash out on birds of paradise for the ceremony room.”


“It was really important to us that people came to our wedding and had fun which inspired our summer fete style theme and so on the lawn outside of the marquee we set out different garden games (coconut shy, giant jenga, badminton, croquet). We had a circus area with juggling balls, spinning plates and diablo, we had a children’s arts and crafts area and in the evening we hired a face painter. She was a huge hit, with most people having their face painted including Sam’s 100 year old great gran!”


“One of our biggest expenses was Sam’s suit!!” Sarah laughed. “From the off Sam wanted a purple suit and she looked amazing so it was well worth it! Our other big cost was alcohol. We wanted a free bar for our guests which meant a ferry trip to France for afternoon wine tasting and a cellar FULL of booze! However we saved on flowers and a lot of the other decorations.”

“Stay true to what you want your big day”, Sarah advices in conclusion. “Have a day that you like and ensure that it is representative of you both individually and as a couple. Also get as many people involved as you can; less corporate more personal!”